USC Free Tuition Plan “Brilliant PR Stunt”

I’ve been waiting to hear an expert opinion weigh in on USC’s plan to offer free tuition for families with income of $80,000 or less.

“It’s a brilliant PR stunt on their side,” Dr. Sara Goldrick-Rab, professor of higher education policy and sociology at Temple University, told Yahoo Money.

Excerpt; “The tuition for attending USC is roughly $58,000 and living costs are approximately $18,000 for an academic year, according to data by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). The free tuition pledge will not cover room and board, food, or other secondary expenses. 

“The average net price that USC students with income under $80,000 are currently paying is between $15,000 to $21,000, according to the NCES. This is approximately the room and board cost, meaning the new plan, which only covers tuition, won’t really help the students with their additional expenses.

“Low-income students have problems paying for the living costs, not the tuition,” Dr. Goldrick-Rab said. “They already have significant financial aid for tuition but not for their living costs, so they’re not going to see a substantial change.

“This is a reaction to the admission scandal and all of their other scandals,” Dr. Goldrick-Rab said.

Full article here

17 thoughts on “USC Free Tuition Plan “Brilliant PR Stunt”

  1. Scottie, this is an unfair characterization. Other private schools with high tuition have similar plans, including Harvard. What the person interviewed above didn’t say is that financial aid can include loans, work-study, etc.

    As I understand it, this is tuition free – not loans. So this is something quite different.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Why kids don’t take the bullshit intro courses at JC for a lot less is beyond me, Psych 101 isn’t any better at USC than it is at Golden West JC.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Because there are better and richer coeds sitting in on USC classes than at most JC classes.

        Spending those early years taking B.S. classes while living in a dorm and later with my buddies doing nothing and being young is better than going to JC and then schlepping home to mom and dad’s house.


        Liked by 5 people

      2. If you need to believe that to validate the classes at Golden West JC or whatever junior college you went to, then by all means, be my guest.




      1. karma —Let me make this easy. If you quote [or even stand next to] someone who is bitter, you yourself DESERVE to be called bitter….

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Still amounts to $58K x 4 = $232K free. I think that’s amazing and would make me feel much better about my alma mater if true and if students gain admittance based solely on merit (i.e. independent from ability to pay).

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This is bullshit. Anyone who went to USC knows that in the past 30-40 plus years USC “meets demonstrated need”, i.e. if you’re accepted to USC and a citizen USC will meet need that you prove on your FAFSA generated SAR entirely. The top tier schools and state schools for in-state students all do this.

    There’s a war going on for control of SC, and many of its detractors now have an axe to grind. People hate old SC, and they almost have total control over it. Not quite yet though… The BoT war is still raging. Pray for old ‘SC.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I echo what other people said here … this is an unfair characterization. Many of the low income students (even if on full financial aid) have to still take out loans they are given by virtue of that financial aid or go on work study and work in college. This plan removes those hurdles, which is a good thing.

    As hard as you try Scott there is not a negative angle to everything.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. It totally reeks of a PR stunt in reaction to the scandals. But you know what? It’s a really good thing to give free tuition to those who can least afford it.

    I award you no points, and may god have mercy on your soul.


  6. Looking at it from an athletic -scholarship perspective, does this allow SC’s teams to have more “scholarship students” [a la Stanford] for the non-revenue generating sports. If so, this is brilliant as it will help baseball among other sports.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Okay, one more bit about SC– it has “need blind admissions”, that is, students are not turned away from SC admissions for inability to pay, and USC is also a school that “guarantees to meet demonstrated financial need” as well. These are not phrases I make up, but policies that the better schools in America adhere to, that SC has adhered to as long as I’ve been around. SC helped initiate these policies in the American higher ed world. Be proud of your school– yes, it has catered to the “elite” of the West especially and been a traditional school but it has also been a gateway to upward mobility.

    Like other schools there are admits that fall within the school’s criteria for admission that get special consideration for fundraising or “development” and input from recommendations from stakeholders is a consideration, ( as are legacies, special talents, non academic attainment, regional diversity, socio-economic diversity, achievement against odds, etc. are all considered as well as test scores, grades and class standing). The scandal was because those things are not sold off for administrators to personally profit, they are done to benefit the institution and those it serves.

    Of course corruption happens, especially when you have some weirdo “Lesbian Mafia” (I still can’t get over how weird that whole thing is) throughout the school, in powerful positions and linked up with other SJW weirdo cliques, and all this going on up to the BoT.

    But SC is a special, special place, a gift from God, built up by many generations, and we should realize how great it is and has been to students. Even if the weirdos take it over (there’s a bitter pill), we’ve been blessed. Fight On! (for Old ‘SC!)

    Liked by 1 person

  8. If one is so talented and intelligent as to gain admittance to USC, then one is likewise smart enough to get a P/T job to help defray one’s living costs. Might have to restrict partying to the weekends, but ….

    Liked by 1 person

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